As a witness you have an important role to play in bringing offenders to justice.
As a witness:
- you will be treated fairly and with respect
- you will have a single point of contact
- your needs will be taken into account
- we will keep you informed about progress
Witnesses have rights, outlined in The Witness Charter (PDF).
Will I have to give a statement?
As a witness, you have an important role to play in bringing offenders to justice and giving a statement is vital as it forms part of the evidence the police are collecting.
A statement is a written or video-recorded account of what happened. A police officer will ask you questions and write down what you have said.
You will be asked to read it and sign it as a true account of your experience as it may be used as evidence in court.
Will I have to go to court?
If the case goes to court and you have given a statement as a witness, you may be required to go to court and give evidence.
You will be allocated a Victim and Witness Care Officer from Lighthouse. They will be your main point of contact as your case goes through the court.
The officer will guide you through the process, helping with practical things, such as arranging travel and accommodation and claiming expenses.
We can also arrange for you to visit the court in advance to see how things work, and support you in court on the day of the trial.
The Ministry of Justice has produced a video which explains the process of going to court:
Can I claim compensation?
Compensation is available for victims of crime, not for witnesses. As a witness, you can claim allowances and expenses if you have been called to give evidence.
Your Victim and Witness Care Officer from Lighthouse can help with this. Find out more about Witness Expenses and Allowances.
Additional support for witnesses
Lighthouse is a team of staff from the police and victim support organisations, working together to guide, advise and support witnesses.
Lighthouse will work with the Crown Prosecution Service, court and the police officer/s handling your case, to make sure your needs are taken into account and ensure you have support in place if you need it.